Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A client's living room project!

I just wrapped up a client's online decorating project recently. Remember the online room design giveaway I did just before Christmas? I had two winners and one of them is the lovely Tara from The Silver Lining. She needed help to pull her living room together.

Her living room is quite neutral but she decided to go bolder for a change. In her questionnaire, she told me that she is not afraid of colors and would like to incorporate some patterns in the new design. Her favorite color is green and blue, particularly turquoise. She also loves antiqued white frames, geometric pillows, mercury glass and mirrors. Overall, she wanted a design that feels cozy and casual. Her style is a mix of traditional, shabby chic and transitional. She doesn't have a specific budget but she doesn't want to spend a lot.

Here is how her current living room looks like.

Tara and her husband love to entertain their friends and family so they bought a big sectional sofa for the space. The sectional sofa along with the green curtains and ottoman had to stay. She doesn't mind replacing or moving the brown chair and ottoman (from the corner of her living room) elsewhere. The faux finished wall were from the previous owners but now she had painted the walls a nice neutral tan color. The picture below showed us what her new paint looks like.

She also showed me a couple of inspirational pictures of her favorite decor. One of them had built-ins on either side of the fireplace and she wanted to recreate the look. However, she is not keen on the idea because she will be putting the house on the market within a year. Naturally, she doesn't want to spend a lot on something expensive and permanent. I know what she needed and immediately came up with a solution. Here is the moodboard I created for her.

The final version of the entertainment wall.

Since she loves the look of built-ins but doesn't want to spend a lot, I came up the idea of white inexpensive bookcases on either side of her fireplace. I suggested to add some crown and base mouldings on all the bookcases to create a more custom look for a fraction of the price. To create visual interest, I also suggested that she uses shelf papers to line the back of the bookcases with this gorgeous navy blue greek key paper below.

Alternatively, if she prefers less pattern or spending less, she can always paint them in navy blue. Whichever her preference is, the bookcases will still look great. I picked the color for the back of the bookcases based on the picture of this gorgeous rug she showed me.

This rug is beautiful and stylish but with her beige floors and neutral sectional sofa, the rug will easily get lost. So I sent Tara a list of other geometric rugs in her favorite colors for her consideration. She narrowed them down to her three favorites. I helped her picked the one that I thought will look best in her living room. Here is it:

After replacing a few accessories on the bookcases, I helped her to create a moodboard for the console table area. Based on her design style, favorite pieces and what the space needed, I came up with this:

(Please pardon my unattractive presentation, but you get the idea.) 

Since her walls are a light neutral color, I wanted something bright to jazz up her vignette. I combined her love of vintage frames and turquoise and came up with a grouping of turquoise vintage frames as the focal point for her console table vignette. She told me she likes pink lately so I picked the pink baskets for an additional splash of colors. I think the pink and turquoise will go so well together. However, she told me she wasn't sure about the pink baskets. She liked the turquoise frames but wanted to incorporate them somewhere else instead. Later, she showed me a couple of square and rectangle mirrors she found in a store that she intended to put over her console table. So I was back to the drawing board again, I mean moodboard again. :)

I changed the table lamps because I thought the table lamps are too clear for the second look so I replaced them with the green based table lamps. However, she is still in love with the clear table lamps. Since I wanted to give her the clear lamps, I decided to go with a patterned shade because everything else is too neutral. I gave her another four choices for her lamp shades.

Which lamp shades do you prefer? Personally, I love the chevron and the lamp shade with the gray stripes. I included the turquoise shade because I know it's Tara's favorite color. I think each of these lamp shade will work wonderfully in this vignette. Again, it's a matter of personal preference. Her final selection:

The final version of the console table vignette.

After finalizing the console table styling and accessories, it's time to pick some beautiful pillows for her sectional sofa. She would like me to incorporate her new pillow into the design. Here is the pillow that she had.

With her pillow in mind, I begin to source the rest of the decorative pillows. And what better place to shop for stylish and beautiful designer pillows at a fraction of the price than Etsy?  Here is what my initial moodboard looked like:

She wasn't sure about the dog pillow and the green pillows. She thought the green pillows were too bright and will not work well with her green curtains. I reassured her by showing her a similar color pillow as her curtains against her sectional sofa. She immediately realized why they won't work. There is not much contrast and the muted green pillow was visually drown by the neutral sofa. The brighter green pillows however will work on her light beige sofa and will provide a pop of much needed color in the space.

She later showed me these pillows she found on the same Etsy pillow store that I emailed her earlier.

So, I made another revision and came up with these three pillow arrangements.

Personally, I really love the pillow arrangement in the middle. Which one is your favorite? 

Below is Tara's favorite pillow arrangement among the four different versions.

The final version for the pillow arrangement.

As a designer, I always have a preference for everything but at the end of the day, all I want is for my clients to be happy with the overall design. When they are happy, I feel satisfied because I know I did my job right.

I am looking forward to see the results of Tara's living room makeover. Tara is a joy to work with. She showed me a lot of inspirational pictures and the items she loves and they really helped me to get a sense of her style. Although she is busy with work, she get things done in a timely manner. She also responded to my emails promptly so I can move forward with my design planning and for that, I am very grateful.

I know you are excited to see the end result of our collaboration so I will definitely share any updates or progress on Tara's living room in the future. 

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services. Don't forget, the first five clients to sign up with Mix And Chic Interiors will get a 50% off promotional discount.


  1. I think the piece of furniture that is next to the mantle should be placed on the other wall (same place but in different direction) I mean in the space there is between the window and the corner, becuause it look really weird next to the mantle. It´s the sama height and almost the same shape but totally different so there shoud be more space between them.
    I love what you are suggesting for her. I think she´ll be very happy!

  2. love all your bright colors. wonderful little blog you have here. found it from the silver lining. oh and i'll be back. thanks for posting.

  3. Love the different options for the lamps! Do you remember where they are from?? Thanks!!

  4. All the lamp shades are from Target. Hope it helps!

  5. I love seeing your designs! I can't wait to see the after picture. It'll look amazing, I'm sure! :)



  6. Great ideas, Jessie! Love the patterns and the addition of white in the room.

  7. Great ideas Jessie, I'm excited to see the finished room. I love all the pretty colors and the bookcase idea is genius. I love the final version of the vignette, I think the splash of chartreuse on the tray looks great!

  8. Wonderful ideas Jessie! I love the rug!

  9. Can't wait Jessie to see the final outcome!

  10. I can't wait to see the room all finished! You came up with an amazing design Jessie!!! I am so in love with all your fabric and paper choices. You always inspire me girl!!

  11. All of the elements you chose look great together! Can't wait to see it all come together!

  12. I like what you did. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

  13. I really like what you picked for the room! It was really interesting to read about the process and collaboration too...I am excited to see how it will look when it's finished!

    Thanks for your kind comments about the baby on the way :)

  14. Love what you gave come up with. Hope she takes photos! I can relate to the process, I have helped a friend with her daughter's room and it has been back and forth!

  15. It looks great Jessie - as usual great tips from you,


Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Your comments always, always brighten up my day! So, keep them coming. Have a beautiful day!